All Voices Matter: the internet and social media


Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

All parents want for their children is to feel safe and loved, so naturally they’re protective of us. As the world becomes more dangerous as their children grow over, that protectiveness can go overboard, and even if it has the best intentions, it can have a negative effect on their children rather than a positive one. Some parents have resorted to restricting their kids from hanging out with friends they personally deem problematic or, even worse, searching their kids’ belongings such as diaries and phones in order to monitor their lives.

Yes, the internet and social media in general can be a very toxic and unsafe space. It’s a tool we utilize almost daily and is easily accessible, and so many celebrities and other influencers are active on it that we feel even more inclined to use it often.

But it also serves many other uses, such as a venting space or a place to connect with others, and it gives us a chance to show a lot about ourselves that we don’t show in real life. This is an automatic red flag to parents, who feel like they’re not doing their job well enough as a caretaker, and thus must work really hard to get to the root of the problem, but usually their efforts make matters worse. They end up violating their child’s privacy and start to ruin the trusting relationship that the parent has with them.

It’s okay to worry about your children, but parents can’t act like they have the right to monitor all of their child’s activities, whether offline or online, and expect the child not to have a problem with it.

My mom and I never look through each other’s stuff, because we understand that we have our own business and we aren’t obligated to know every little detail about it. Some think that’s reckless and might drive me towards rebellion, but it’s quite the obvious–I find it easier to trust my mom and the more she respects my privacy and feelings, the more inclined I am to reach out to her and other people that I know about what’s bothering me rather than venting it out on the internet.

You shouldn’t have to rely on going through someone’s stuff in order to understand how someone feels–you should just talk to them instead. As we’ve all learned since we were children, we should treat others the same way we want to be treated.

We wouldn’t like our privacy to be invaded by close friends and family, nor would we want our trust in them to be broken, so just don’t do it. By invading your child’s privacy, you’re showing that you never had that much faith or trust in them to begin with, which will only make your child feel more willing to rebel and keep secrets from you.